Essays on a hydrogen economy: a microeconomic and macroeconomic investigation

Context, Integration in the project dynamics

The thesis would bring an economic and industrial analysis of the transition to a new energy economy based on hydrogen in France and in the Grand Est Region. The main objectives are to evaluate the incentive’s of economic private and public agents to use and develop hydrogen, the industrials and techno-economic concerns and to investigate the macroeconomic effects of increasing H2 energy use on employment (transport, housing) and environmental outputs (climate change, air pollution).


Innovative aspects and cross-disciplinary collaborations

The thesis would lead to the following output :

  • An economic model with realistic assumptions regarding technical and industrial aspects (based on the interactions with H2 specialist from LEMTA and LRGP labs) leading to different policy simulations.
  • A design of the hydrogen industry and a techno-economic analysis (with ERPI lab) and an investigation of producers and consumers incentives to develop and use hydrogen energy (with PERSEUS).


Targeted scientific advances from the state of art

There is a scarcity of economic output (especially articles in peer reviewed journals) related to this topic except a few of institutional studies and a few articles using computable general equilibrium models (applied to Brazil and Korea for instance). Given the scarcity of the existing studies, the value added of this thesis ought to be significantly important.


Description of the subject

The main objective of this thesis would to produce a first economic analysis of a hydrogen economy using industrial economics, econometrics and behavioral economics. The thesis would identify the design of the hydrogen industry (infrastructures, technology and market diffusion, technological learning), assess the competition between hydrogen and alternative energy (substitution effects) and also the environmental concerns when hydrogen is manufactured by coal, natural gaz, nuclear power or by renewables sources (biomass, wind). The model would be especially calibrated to reproduce the special features of the Grand Est Region. Finally, the model ought to be able to assess simultaneously the impact of the development of a hydrogen economy on GDP, energy balance, commercial balance, employment and environmental emissions: for instance, could the hydrogen use accelerate the transition to a sustainable and green society? In addition, on a microeconomic point of view, an econometric framework with real data would investigate the motivations of the consumers and producers to adopt the hydrogen energy and the offer and demand effects on several markets (transport, housing). Behavioral economics (labs and field experiments) methodology are also expected to be used to this aim.



Supervision: Olivier Damette (PR, BETA UMR UL UniStra CNRS),

Thesis committee: Olivier Lottin (LEMTA UMR UL CNRS), Eric Brangier (Perseus), Vincent Boly (ERPI)

Laboratory in which the thesis will be prepared: BETA UMR UL UniStra CNRS
Doctoral School: SJPEG


How to apply

In order to prepare a PhD thesis within the Lorraine Université d’Excellence Program, the interested candidate should consult the PhD topics offered in each social and economic challenges.
These PhD thesis topics are proposed by faculty members or researchers accredited to supervise research.

Candidate application period: according to graduate school schedule

Each candidate may submit an application on up to three separate research topics.

Application analysis period by each graduate school
The graduate school reviews the applicants for a doctoral contract in the relevant disciplines. They check the level of supervision for each supervisor and the situation of trained doctors. Each candidate will meet the laboratory director, supervisor and a representative from the graduate school. This interview is to identify the candidate’s motivations and suitability as a candidate for the PhD project proposed by the supervisor. A recommendation will be made to the graduate school. This will summarize the strengths and/or weaknesses of the application.

PhD grants will include monthly income for the PhD student (roughly 1700 € for research only, complement can be provided for teaching missions) and environment for research in the research unit.

Please be aware that in order to offer a variety of subjects, more positions are posted here than available funding. The LUE executive committee will make the final choice on the granted funding (up to 12 positions), based on the recommendations by the doctoral schools.